Ageing is the main risk factor for major non-communicable chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, most forms of lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. While the prevalence of these diseases continually increases with age, their respective incidence peaks at different times during the lifespan, suggesting specific effects of ageing on the onset and/or pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Recently, the nine hallmarks of ageing have been defined as cell-autonomous and non-autonomous pathways involved in ageing. Here, we review the available evidence for the involvement of each of these hallmarks in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Importantly, we propose an additional hallmark, "dysregulation of the extracellular matrix", which we argue acts as a crucial modifier of cell-autonomous changes and functions, and as a key feature of the above-mentioned lung diseases.